NEWS

Disposing of yard waste a dilemma in borough

PAT FRIDGEN

Greencastle Borough Council didn't have any answers Monday night to a request by residents for a municipal service to dispose of leaves, twigs, limbs and weeds. Michele Emmett spoke on behalf of a group that submitted a letter July 27 asking for curbside pickup of yard waste. The letter was signed by Michele and David Emmett, Marissa Pinto-Burt, Julie Craig, Karin Johnson, Sheri Morgan, Margaret and Bill Pistner, and Robert Wertime.

Emmett pointed out that according to a 1988 law, it was illegal to put yard waste in with residential trash. The only other options were burning it or paying to have it hauled away.

"One of the problems is education," she said. "Some residents are stunned to learn dumping yard waste is illegal."

She stated pickup was a service the borough could and should provide. "It's time. Let's do something."

Council members Duane Kinzer, Mark Singer, Harry Foley, Charles Eckstine, Paul Schemel and Craig Myers were concerned with the cost that would likely be passed on to property owners anyway, and the fact such a service was not budgeted for in 2010. After an extensive discussion, the matter was referred to the Beautification Committee by president Eckstine.

Recommendations by the Public Safety Committee were unanimously approved. Because of negative feedback from the community on last year's switch to Trick-or-Treating on Oct. 31, which was a Saturday, the night was reverted to the Thursday prior to Halloween. Mayor Robert Eberly explained that due to events in neighboring communities, people wanted to be able to attend parades and such on their standardized nights, and also participate in Greencastle's traditional Thursday Trick-or-Treat night.

The police department was granted permission to provide security during boys varsity athletic events and other occasions as called for, using two to four additional officers. The request came from the Greencastle-Antrim School District, which offered to pay the staffing expenses and a 15 percent administrative fee. The school particularly wanted the extra coverage during football and boys basketball games, and presented a one-year agreement.

The committee also reported that some random vandalism was still occurring at the Jerome King Playground, and it believed the Playground Association had sent out some more Defiant Trespass notices.

Other business

A preliminary/final land development plan for Greencastle Church of the Brethren was approved. The church will demolish part of the existing building and construct a 7,167 square feet multi-purpose addition at 36 S. Carlisle St.

With disagreement on wording for an amendment to the borough property maintenance ordinance, the matter was turned back to the Community Development Committee. Myers supported the borough contracting for a code enforcement officer but Kinzer wanted the duty kept in-house. "I'm not in favor of more government or someone looking over my shoulder," he said.

Mayor Robert Eberly countered with, "The person enforcing this has to know what they're doing."

The committee will take comments from the council members on that issue and other concerns.

Council authorized manager Kenneth Womack to work out the details with Public Financial Management to refinance the 2004 sewer bonds. If the borough made a $750,000 cash contribution, the current annual debt service would drop nearly $70,000 to $126,000 a year, with an overall savings of $1.05 million.

Beautification Committee member Lauren McLane said they had applied for grants to regrade the ballfield at King Playground. They had also decided not to pursue building a public swimming pool, claiming a lack of interest by the community, and no available space or financing.